Over half of adults 'find cold calls distressing'

Credit: PA

The government must to do more to stop companies cold-calling people after a survey revealed over half of adults found the calls distressing, an injury claims company has said.

Research from the National Accident Helpline revealed 56% of adults found it upsetting when telemarketers trying to sell them something called their home or mobile phone.

The National Accident Helpline said government intervention would be necessary if companies were to stop using personal phone lines to drum up business.

At the moment, 73% of people who spoke to the survey said they did not feel the government was doing enough to prevent nuisance calls.

The majority of people (70%) also felt ticking a box to opt-out of cold calls was not effective enough to stop them and 66% said they were not sure where to report telemarketers to.

Cold calls were also found to be impinging on private time. According to National Accident Helpline:

  • More than three quarters (78%) of respondents said that cold calls interrupted them during meal times

  • A similar number (76%) reported being interrupted during family time.

  • The disruption wasn't limited to calls at home, either; over a third (36%) received cold calls at work.

Customers are meant to have the option to opt out of receiving cold calls. Credit: PA

Read: Cold callers could be hit with fines of up to £500,000

The law as it stands will only allow a company to be prosecuted for col calling it has been shown to be causing substantial damage or distress, according to the Information Commissioner's Office.

The government is now consulting on whether this threshold should be lowered to allow for additional prosecutions.

However, the consultation does not suggest any measures to deal with overseas calls, however, which is a major concern as over half (51%) of those surveyed had received cold calls from international numbers in the past 12 months.

A spokesperson for the department of media, culture and sport (DCMS) said anyone wanting to avoid nuisance calls should register with the Telephone Preference Service.